State of West Bengal v. Nemai Chandra Ghoshal

Kunal Chatterji is now so deep into the game of litigation, he must be considered an irresistible force. Esha Bhattacharjee v. Managing Committee of Raghunathpur Nafar Academy, (2013) 12 SCC 649 was a resounding success. But, State of West Bengal v. Nemai Chandra Ghoshal & Anr., [Criminal Appeal No. 970 of 2012] is another feather in his cap.

I appeared for Respondent No. 1 in the matter, as a caveator, through Advocate-on-Record Kunal Chatterji, in 2012. Notice was issued. Leave was granted. Hon’ble Justice B.S. Chauhan heard me briefly. He was not impressed. As a caveator, I used one word too many.

I drafted a 17-page counter affidavit on behalf of the Respondent No. 1. Kunal settled it; filed it. Trial Court had convicted the Respondent under Section 409/120B, 466 and 477A of The Indian Penal Code, 1860. High Court had acquitted him of all charges. Counsel for State of West Bengal had candidly submitted before High Court, “evidence in the course of trial was not sufficient enough to come to an irresistible conclusion that the Respondent had committed any offence under IPC.” “What’s the point of appeal?” – my measured submission.

The matter was granted its leave in cold storage for 3 years. On 24.09.2015, SC finally ordered. “It appears that Learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the State in this matter before the High Court has already conceded with regard to the submission made on behalf of the alleged accused that the prosecution case and evidence adduced in course of trial was not sufficient enough to come to an irresistible conclusion. In view of that, we do not think that there is anything in this appeal, which should be gone into by this Court. In our opinion, a frivolous appeal has been filed before this Court. Accordingly, the criminal appeal is dismissed.”

A frivolous appeal filed by State of West Bengal against the Respondent No. 1. A frivolous notice issued by Hon’ble Justice B.S. Chauhan? It took 3 years 8 months to be proved right.